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FRA Management Board publishes opinion on future agency work areas

FRA’s Management Board issued its opinion on the agency’s thematic work areas for 2023-2027.

The Board favours revising the current founding regulation, as proposed by the European Commission in June 2020. This would do away with the need to adopt a Council decision defining the agency’s work areas every five years (the Multiannual Framework). The Board’s opinion follows the scenario that the Council still needs to adopt the Multiannual framework.

The Board based its opinion on past and present FRA work, and its impact. It also draws on the views of a broad range of stakeholders, following a consultation.

Overall, the opinion calls for continuity while pointing to a need to adapt the framework to legal and political developments over the last five years. The Board suggests to reword thematic areas to take into account these developments.

The opinion calls for keeping existing thematic areas and suggests adding two new areas, looking at social inclusion and protection, employment and sustainable development.

The Board also calls for rephrasing the current thematic areas to reflect areas on which the agency is increasingly asked to comment on.

The Board recommends reintroducing the thematic area ‘democratic participation’, as in the first Multiannual Framework 2007-2012.

The current framework runs from 1 January 2018 and is valid for five years.

If EU legislators do not agree on the European Commission’s proposal to revise the founding regulation, the Commission will have to submit a proposal for a Council decision on the thematic areas spanning from 2023 to 2027. The Council would then decide on the Multiannual Framework after consultation with the European Parliament.

When preparing its proposal for a Council decision, the European Commission is obliged to consult FRA’s Management Board. The Board has now submitted its opinion to the Commission.